ASU to ask for $5M for arts building

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 8, 2000

Alcorn State University will ask the Legislature in February for $5 million to help build a fine arts center it is planning with Copiah-Lincoln Community College at the school’s Natchez campus.

The building would include arts classrooms and lab space for music students as well as an auditorium with a stage, said Co-Lin President Howell Garner. &uot;We can’t really offer a full art and music program in Natchez because we don’t have the facility,&uot;&160;he said.

The center would allow the schools to offer full fine arts programs and could be used by the community. &uot;Natchez has a very strong arts community but (with) no arts facility — at least, nothing like this,&uot; said Alcorn President Clinton Bristow Jr.

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With approval of Co-Lin’s trustees, which should happen in February, Co-Lin will acquire land for, furnish and initially staff the facility, Garner said. Bristow said he has been discussing the need for such a project with Garner for about five years. In 1999, the Legislature allocated $100,000 for preplanning of the project. If the Legislature allocates $5 million, ground could be broken as early as 2001, Bristow said.

Special legislation must also be introduced to allow the two schools to cooperate in establishing the arts center, Garner said. Alcorn will also ask the Legislature this session for $10 million to build a building to house the Masters of Business Administration program on the Natchez campus.

That project, which is now in the design stage, also received $100,000 of preplanning money during the 1999 session.

&uot;The (MBA) program has been extremely successful, but we’re still sharing the School of Nursing building,&uot;&160;Bristow said. &uot;We need to move them into their own facility.&uot;